The day had arrived following what had already been a fantastic holiday to date, having set off early from our Manly apartment we took a half hour or so taxi ride to Newport to meet up.
It had just turned 7.30am and Justin met us at the end of Jetty, all the equipment was supplied and Justin like myself is a pro guide for Sage & Rio products so I was more than happy with that. We stepped aboard the fully customised Edgewater 188cc and were made very welcome. The usual safety brief and we were off in search of the huge Shoals of Kingfish.
Justin also being a member of the IFFF we had plenty to talk about during our search and it was just great to swap ideas and learn from someone who's office is on the salt 24/7. We hadn't gone far and Justin had spotted the tell tale signs of bait fish being smashed from an aerial bombardment and Kingfish. I was rigged up with a #9 and 20lb leader with an EP flex calamari fly at the business end.
It was only my second cast through the fish on a feeding frenzy ,they were hitting the anchovy and bang this thing hit the fly like a freight train. The rod bent double and I was into my first Kingfish of the day. After only a short spell and one unbelievable run ,the jubilation had turned to disappointment and a few choice words. The hook had come clean out, and these fish will do almost anything to rub the hook out or take you to snags to shed the hook. Still it was a good start the day.
The morning proved to be more frustration and the fish appearing then disappearing in and around us in seconds. Tracking their movement even with the aid of a fish finder was certainly a big frustration. A decision was made to go out near open water and look for Salmon. After plenty of searching nothing ! wrong conditions and a bit too early in the season.
The tide however had turned so after a brief spell and a stop off at the local on water restaurant for flat whites we were back on the search. The change of tide had done the trick and Justin quickly put me on the fish.
The fly was one again smashed and this time I was determine not to let this one go, the relief from Justin was evident that he finally got me on fish. I can appreciate his relief as I know there's nothing more frustrating than seeing your client miss fish and conditions not quite right.
Kingfish on the Fly from Phil Ratcliffe Fly Fishing on Vimeo.
Kingfish on the Fly. from Phil Ratcliffe Fly Fishing on Vimeo.
The kingfish are really hard fighting and give a fight like no other I've experience to date. The afternoon saw me hook and land another four Kings the biggest over 70cm. There are some huge fish to be had but I wasn't lucky enough to hit into them. Still a good stamp of fish .
My hat goes off to Justin for a day that will never be forgotten and most certainly will be repeated on my next visit to Oz. The day was a great craic and full of banter and good laughs, chilling to his Bob Marley tunes along the way. If your visiting Sydney on your travels be sure to book on with Sydney Fly Fishing Tours.
Cheers mate for a top draw day.
Until next time